A Greener racing series or just a bender?


Brought to you by TJ13 contributor Oddball

Every Christmas we have the same message,’don’t drink and drive’, but are we really missing a golden opportunity?

Our sport is driven by oil, the refined product that goes into the tank of every race car is a miracle of modern chemistry. Every drop is tapped for its power and every race, the companies tweak an already complicated formula to gain a sliver of extra power.

But do we need to break this hold on our sport and cast aside the need for a dinosaur in our tanks?

We have seen the rise of the formula E cars and sadly as a race series it just faces way too many problems at the moment. I know that before you can run you need to walk but the fact that one charge can’t complete a very limited race is frankly embarrassing, even the great isle of man TT has the zero race and this is a step in the right direction but are batteries really the solution?

The last few years we have seen ever more frugal power systems delivered to the teams. Extra battery power and ever increasing regeneration systems seem the norm but is this really necessary? There are Greener alternatives to this problem and I do wonder why these are not explored.

Hydrogen is one such fuel but there is another alternative.. Booze!

Alcohol has been used as a fuel as long as oil and it really can deliver more… umph.

Think of the possible sponsorship deals as our teams drive around the track.. Vijay Mallya would be a happy man. Martini could actually power the Williams and as for the perfume sponsorship.. Davidhof…for man and machine. Alcohol could be derived from just about any carbon source and given the current world thinking this could be a good thing.

Our own road cars can run on a very simple mix of oil and alcohol now and just as one example,the USA has had this for years so why not take the next leap..convert our track going monsters into the green machines they could be. The racing would be exactly the same and the development of the engines is 90% there. The cars would still roar as they power down the straights and even the tree huggers can rest as we replant the biomass that would have been used.

Now back to the real world, Yeah,.right, that’s really going to happen. The amount of money that is provided by the likes of Shell, Petronas and Total – to name but a few – really does make this a total non starter in my book.

Alcohol may well be the future but as we have seen many times before… change doesn’t come easily.

Disclaimer: TheJudge13 provides a platform for Formula 1 fans to publish their voice on matters relating to Formula 1. The views expressed in Voice of #F1 Fans are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.

14 responses to “A Greener racing series or just a bender?

  1. Great, use the alcohol content from booze to fuel a car. And what might I ask, fuels the alcohol making process? This is basically asking to invent perpetual motion. Also, the amount of plant material would be used and we already have a food issue around the world.

    • Well, actually the alcohol COULD be used to fuel the process. Petrol engined cars can run on alcohol made from sugar. Diesel cars can run on vegetable oil. In both cases it is renewable energy, just replant the crops. As these fuels became more widely used there will be improvements in plant yields and oil will no longer be required. It is surely the way of the future, cheap and easy. Hydrogen power, while appealing, requires a lot more processing.
      By the way Milord, thank you for reverting back to the older style/layout of page it is much easier to read.

      • Yep Using alcohol would reduce a carbon footprint as they could replant the fuel used so an offset program. The reason alcohol can work is that most of the work is done,the development would be minimal but can you see MrE pushing that one forward,how much investment have the petrol suppliers put into f1? I would just like to see some flexibility from the fom or FIA to allow an alternative fuel source. In WEC we see true innovation and that’s what F1 needs. Imagine a petrol car fighting against a hybrid or full electric motor..imagine a fuel cell system or even top fuel monsters. Green doesn’t need to be dull and our sport needs to progress.

  2. I disagree with the use of alcohol as fuel for combustion engines under current politics, particularly I disagree with the decision of the USA of using corn -maize- to produce this alcohol. More than one organization, person, country, etc. has asked the USA -because they know they will lead the market and set the rules- not to use corn but other resource. They refuse. The problem is that maize is a necessary nourishment for the survival of humans, particularly in poor countries, selling corn for producing fuel is more profitable than selling it as food, as a result, if the automotive industry change from oil to maize’s alcohol, and considering the lack of controls and existing corruption in poor countries -and the greed of multinational corporations that want to take advantage of this- most producers will prefer to sell its corn for producing fuel, its price will increase and its availability decrease, creating humanitarian problems.

    • I tend to agree with you but for argument’s sake take corn out of the mix, any bio mass can be used so why not use the waste that’s often dumped into land fill but that’s another story. You could use algae but again it’s a pipe dream as the whole industry is based on outdated technology(the internal combustion engine) so in real terms no racing can ever be green((no Lotus jokes pls) as driving around a unending loop and doing this just for entertainment gives you exactly 0miles per gallon😎

      • How about an eco-F1 series based on a 200 mile / 300 km race on host countries’ motorways (eg, British GP: Manchester to London -kind-of-thing)?
        One Sunday a year with no motorway, (although you’d only need one side, so could have reduced traffic on the other side) maybe coupled with a national car-free day.
        On or two planned pitstops, possibly at service stations en route – they already have slip-roads and petrol pumps.
        The motorways are already fitted with safety barriers, and 2-4 lanes is plenty to race on.
        Everyone can watch from the embankments, for free, and marvel at the display of competing, bleeding-edge eco-engines whizzing past their local junction.
        Interesting strategy calls – maybe it’s raining between Stoke and Birmingham, so you want your middle stint to be on extreme wets.
        The TV helicopter gets to stretch its rotors, providing sumptuous footage during a whistlestop tour of the host country, rather than 60 aerial loops of and industrial estate.
        (BTW, I’ve baggsied the trackside advertising rights!)

        • I like your thinking Bob, only one addition…no pits stops in Manchester,they would never see their wheels again😱

    • As we saw in the last few days, becoming oil independent should be the most urgent thing on the agenda of the west.
      The romans said: “panem et circenses”, Bread and games. If that’s what’s needed to keep people happy, I’d love to see corrupt regimes try starving their people and stay in power. That will not happen, so starting to use corn might be a catalyst for people to stand up against their corrupt regimes

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